Pot smokers asking for trouble

California’s Proposition 19, to be voted on as part of the upcoming election, would legalize the small-scale sale and possession of marijuana; but most weed aficionados probably don’t realize that this sort of legislation would hurt them more than help. Legalize it. Possibly the clarion call of weed smokers everywhere, this phrase is often backed up with a lengthy discourse on either why weed is less harmful than cigarettes or how many times the lecturer has safely operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of cannabis. But, if Prop 19 will teach us anything, it is that the government can even screw up something as innocent-sounding as pot legalization. While it is true that this proposition would legalize the recreational use of marijuana, it would come at a steep price. A cursory examination beyond the headlines reveals that, if passed, the proposition would bring about licensed commercial marijuana companies. Not only that, but it would also tax the sale of marijuana, and any marijuana sales outside of commercial exchanges would remain illegal. This would result in a situation that would allow big business to take over yet another industry, forcing underground growers to fight even harder to stay afloat.   Basically, what appears to be a pot smoker’s dream is in fact a nightmare to those who already enjoy their regular dose of THC with relative ease. Some have speculated that California is bringing this proposition to the table not only to try and earn some extra tax revenue from marijuana sales, but to try and save some of the Democratic seats in the upcoming election by capitalizing on the “stoner vote.” Despite the humor inherent in this last-ditch effort by the Democrats, this issue is no laughing matter if you are among those who smoke as part of your lifestyle. Whether this proposition is passed or not in California, it sets an important precedent for policymakers all over the nation. In this time of economic hardship, legislators are looking for any way they can to improve state revenue, and this kind of pot legalization scheme might be the kind of thing that catches on; especially in areas with high concentrations of pot smokers. Pot smokers, you need to unite, but not in favor of the kind of “legalization” being offered to you right now. Rather, stay informed, and vow not to turn your favorite recreational habit into another government-regulated beast of a business. The next time you go to denounce “the man” for trying to bust and disrupt your ganja-loving ways, perhaps you should instead be thankful for the way it is, as opposed to the soulless, regulated business that it could easily become.